Research in the Swallowing & Communication Collaborative is centered around optimizing the management of swallowing and speech impairments to improve quality of life for adults living with serious illnesses. Specifically, work in the lab focuses on the development of novel swallowing and speech assessment and treatment methodologies that incorporate patient preferences, improve patient-provider communication, and allow patients’ values and preferences to be both known and included in the medical decision-making process.
Improving shared decision-making surrounding dysphagia management for persons diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
As many as 92% percent of persons diagnosed with ALS develop swallowing impairments over the course of the disease, which have negative prognostic effects on survival. As a result of these impairments, patients are faced with the decision of whether to have a feeding tube placed or not. The primary objective of the study is to develop and test a decision aid that improves communication and patient knowledge throughout the decision-making process.